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Politics

What Greek-Americans Think About The Coming U.S. Presidential Election

November 1, 2016

The National Herald asked several Greek-Americans about their thoughts on the upcoming election, drawing responses across the political spectrum.

Andrew Manatos, former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Founder and President of the Washington Oxi Day Foundation

“Strictly from the perspective of Orthodoxy and Hellenism one can look at the election this way. Hillary Clinton was deeply involved in unprecedented accomplishments for our issues. Bill Clinton become the first sitting President to visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate, switching the objection of France and Germany to Cyprus’ early accession to the EU, moving FYROM to remove from its constitution language threatening northern Greece, apologizing for America’s dealing with the Junta, getting Albania to release from prison the “Omonoia Five”, convincing the Turks to withdraw from the islet of Imia and as Secretary of State, she got the Turks to withdraw their ship from Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and pressed in an unsurpassed fashion for the reopening of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Halki seminary in Turkey.

Trump’s position on our issues is unknown. But both George Gigicos and Reince Priebus — respectively one of the closest people to Trump during this campaign and the incredibly effective Chairman of the Republican National Committee — are both the extraordinary kind of Orthodox Christian and Hellene who really uses their personal chits with a president to elevate those issues where the interests of America, their faith and their heritage merge.”

Nick Mamatas, Writer, California

“It’s perhaps no surprise, but as someone whose family is from Ikaria, I dislike both major candidates for the election and will be voting for a small left-wing party here in California: the Peace and Freedom candidate is Gloria La Riva. I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it than vote for what I don’t want and get that.”

Olga Alexakos, AGAPW co-Founder and President

“I am looking forward to when the election campaign is over, so we can all focus on the real issues and on how to move this country forward and keep the American dream alive.”

Lambros Athanasopoulos, Queens

“I think Greek-Americans are evenly split in who they will vote for, but I think they appreciate the way campaign swings back and forth between serious issues and comedy – like an Aristophanes play.”

Jimmy Panagiotou, Production Manager, Melrose Ballroom

“As a Greek-American I’m so proud to support Hillary Clinton, she was an amazing Senator in New York and I’m with her! I believe she will turn the country into the right direction, and not the direction of hate and racism like Trump!”

Demetri Kofinas- Principal/Executive Producer, Offline Productions

“What has discouraged me most about this election cycle is its lack of civility and its deafness. We are too busy being outraged, too busy agitating our assailants and sharpening our knives. We make no effort to listen to or to try and understand one another. We pay a price for this indulgence. It makes us vulnerable to the machinations of demagogues and immune to arguments and reason. It dulls our capacity to be inspired. In this sense, it makes us poor citizens, and we cannot afford this. If we do not learn how to listen, learn and compromise, we will not be able to hold onto this system of self-government. It will simply cease to function. This is how democracies devolve into totalitarianism. The inability to achieve compromise over time leads to political disarray, and to the eventual longing by the citizenry for some clear direction and order. By that time, it will no longer matter how dark the message is, only that it is loud and powerful. This should worry all of us.”

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